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The Snapdragon S4’s Adreno GPU takes Graphics to the Next Level

Feb 21, 2012

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

The ability to render with a GPU on mobile devices has created a world of possibilities for game, web, and graphics developers, as offloading graphics rendering from the CPU can free up valuable system resources. The embedded GPU found in the latest Snapdragon processors is custom-built by Qualcomm and aptly named the Adreno series, because it’s analogous to applying a shot of pure adrenaline to any graphics intensive task. With the latest S4 processors, the Adreno 225 takes center-stage with a 50% increase in performance over the previous generation Adreno 220 and is roughly 7.5 times faster than the first generation Adreno 200.

There are plenty of other design enhancements as well, including support for the latest APIs (OpenGL and Direct3D), which means it’s designed to be fully compliant with current and forthcoming platforms such as Google Android and Windows 8. It’s no wonder why Qualcomm shipped more GPUs than any other competitor in Q4 2011. It features an advanced shader compiler and a “bin-based” rendering technique that not only improves overall graphics performance, but saves power in the process. We can go on and on about the Adreno’s extensive list of embedded features, but the proof is in how fast your web browser displays pages, how quickly your navigation app responds,, and of course, how amazing your favorite game looks when playing it.

Just recently, Qualcomm launched its Snapdragon GameCommand app, featuring over a 100 Android games with superb 3D graphics. Many of these games are Snapdragon-exclusive titles like “The Ball” and “Fight Game Heroes”, which are optimized to reap the benefits of the Adreno 225 GPU. The video demo below features Gameloft’s “Modern Combat 3”, a console-quality military shoot-em up game. What’s impressive is that this game is played on several S4-based tablets connected in true multiplayer mode, leveraging the S4’s integrated 4G LTE modem. That way, you can worry less about connecting to the internet and more about crushing your opponent.

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